Dhoni all praise for track

 “I think we played to 60 percent of our potential, whatever be the reasons,” the Indian captain told newsmen. “We have the potential to play much better.”

The VCA stadium finally threw up a surface that suited India’s  strengths. “We just wanted a wicket where there was something for the spinners,” Dhoni observed. “On a wicket where there is something for the spinners, the fast bowlers automatically get reverse swing because the wicket is dry. This was more of an Indian track, this is the kind of wicket you expect in the sub-continent. And no, I did not speak to the curator here before the game asking for a specific kind of pitch.”

New Zealand’s unexpected surrender on the fourth morning took Dhoni by surprise. “I thought play would last longer,” he admitted. “We knew it was a turning track, there was something for the spinners. What was important was to start well in the morning. That was one of the reasons why we declared late. We wanted the hard ball for 10 overs in the evening and also so that it remains hard for the early morning spells . It worked for us and the bowlers bowled really well. But I never thought we would be doing a press conference this early!”

Looking ahead to the tour of South Africa next month, Dhoni went on, “Adapting to the conditions will be very crucial. But to not think too much ahead will be important. Utilising the break we are getting now will be crucial. As soon as you land in South Africa, switching on and doing the basics are important. There are plenty of players who have toured South Africa before, so gaining information from them will be really important. It will be a team effort. We have to give our best shot on the field and do the best we can. We must not just think about the result but just concentrate on the process.”

India haven’t lost a Test series under Dhoni, who has led the team to victory in 13 of 21 Tests, with only two defeats thrown in.

“It is already part of history,” he said of the possible pressure of the winning streak. “I always say don’t think too far ahead. What is important for me is the present. What we do right today will take care of what will happen tomorrow. At the end of the day, tomorrow will also become part of history. It is the entire team’s thinking to stay in the present and not think too far ahead into the future.”

Comments (+)